Friday, December 4, 2009

Seminar notes #5: Building an audience

When you build an audience for your creative work, do it in such a way that you can carry them with you from project to project.

1. A writer builds an email list of all the people who buy his books. When he writes a new book, he emails the audience to let them know, and give them a chance to buy a pre-release copy.

2. A filmmaker collects email addresses from all the people who attend his screening. When the final film is released on DVD he emails them and offers a signed DVD.

3. An artist collects emails from people who visit her website. When she has a new painting, she displays it on the website and emails her audience. She gives them a chance to buy the painting.

What all these things have in common is that the artist communicates directly with the audience. Unlike the old model where a middleman--publisher, film distributor or gallery owner--communicates with the audience.

In the old model, the artist has no choice but to communicate with the middleman. In the old model the artist is at the mercy of the middleman. In the new model, the artist talks directly to his or her audience.

(Taken from notes made during Scott Kirsner's Building an Audience Seminar at Bay Area Video Coalition, on Dec. 1 2009.)

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